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E-Health Snapshot from Minnesota

September 2, 2011
by David Raths
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How one state is harmonizing its efforts with ONC while moving forward

Minnesota has been one of the pioneering states in terms of collaboration on health information technology. It has had an e-health initiative in place since 2004. In researching a story for the November issue of Healthcare Informatics, I had a chance to speak with Liz Cinqueonce, the deputy director of the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Health Information Technology.

During that talk, we discussed how the state is harmonizing its efforts with those of the Office of the National Coordinator as well as some of the assessment data the state has been collecting about e-health in a variety of settings. “We use this assessment data to see who is advancing and who is not,” Cinqueonce says. “It can help monitor advancement toward meaningful use and identify barriers and needed resources. In some cases it may be work force rather than software or funding.”

For instance, the research shows that almost a quarter of Minnesota’s critical access hospitals have not deployed an EHR system. As in other states, critical access hospitals face lower rates of adoption, less EHR functionality, and less capacity to achieve meaningful use core objectives. The state recognizes that more directed assistance is needed to address this gap. And although both hospitals and clinics are electronically exchanging patient data, the state’s analysis finds that it occurs less frequently with non-affiliated hospitals and providers and other care settings. So more effort to support exchange with both affiliated and non-affiliated partners is needed.

The Minnesota e‐Health Brief, available on the state’s assessment web page provides a summary of selected e‐health indicators updated as new data and analysis become available.

Here are some highlights from the most recent brief published in June 2011:

Ambulatory Clinic EHR Adoption Rate: 67 percent

Acute Care Hospital EHR Deployment Rate: 86 percent

Critical Access Hospital EHR Deployment Rate: 79 percent

Ambulatory Clinic CPOE Usage Rate: 74 percent

Acute Care Hospital CPOE Usage Rate: 43 percent

Ambulatory Clinic Clinical Decision Support Usage Rate: 86 percent

Acute Care Hospital Clinical Decision Support Usage Rate: 67 percent

Ambulatory Clinics capable of exchange with patients: 50 percent

Acute Care Hospitals capable of exchange with patients: 41 percent

Meaningful use incentive activities will be published in the fourth quarter of this year.